Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, stressed on the importance of having a business-friendly environment for exporters and said that there would be a new policy statement in the 2018 budget to stimulate the private sector engagement in the economy. He also spoke about the government’s plans to enact a new Foreign Exchange Bill.
While speaking at the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL)’s seminar titled Sri Lanka – The Next Asian Economic Miracle? Resetting Economic Development Priorities, the PM highlighted the importance of enhancing productivity, competitiveness and maintaining a dialogue between the private and banking sectors to ensure funding.
The event was organised in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The conference examined the public and private sector initiatives that could determine Sri Lanka’s trajectory in becoming an Asian economic miracle. Participants benefitted from fresh insights into the future direction of the economy through policy statements of key government ministers and the presentations of reputed academics and speakers from the private sector. The panellists also debated what Sri Lanka must do to overcome current challenges.
At the conference, Arnold Perera, vice president of ECCSL spoke on Sri Lanka’s potential to become the next Asian economic miracle. Commenting on the work done by the Chamber, he mentioned efforts made by the ECCSL to upgrade Sri Lanka’s OECD country risk classifications which were downgraded in 2009. He said that the ECCSL had also tried to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives through the European Investment Bank (EIB) which had expressed interest in working with the local private sector.
Ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Mangala Samarweera also graced the occasion and spoke on the government’s economic development efforts. Samrawickrama said that he would consider facilitating a trade adjustment package to local industrialists to upgrade machinery and introduce modern technology so that companies could be more competitive. Samaraweera said government is committed to providing a stable policy regime with a simpler, clear and more transparent tax policy to attract investment climate.
The event was well attended by Ambassadors and diplomatic staff from EU Delegation Office and the missions of Germany, France, Slovania, UK, US, and the Netherlands, senior government officials, researchers and corporate executives.